The San Diego Padres (44-62) and Cincinnati Reds (63-41) will close out a four-game National League series on Thursday afternoon at the Great American Ball Park, with the first pitch scheduled for 12:35 ET

San Diego Padres at Cincinnati Reds

Cincinnati Reds SP Johnny Cueto has sensational daytime numbers in 2012

San Diego will look to earn a split of this four-game series after dropping the last two contests, including a 6-4 setback on Wednesday night.  The Padres bullpen has definitely be used over the course of their current road trip, something that manager Bud Black will be monitoring closely.  “We’ve got to watch it, we’ve been taxed,” stated Black after last night’s game.  It’s important to note that the club has won nine of its last 10 games on getaway days.  San Diego is 8-6 as a road underdog of +175 to +200 the last two-plus years.

Padres starting pitcher Ross Ohlendorf (3-1, 5.05 ERA) suffered a 4-2 setback on the road to the Miami Marlins in his last outing, giving up three runs and four hits over six frames.  The right-hander is 2-1 with a 6.43 ERA in five road outings (three starts), with opposing hitters batting .306 against him.  In seven career games (five starts) versus the Reds, Ohlendorf has registered a 1-3 record and 4.40 ERA, including an 0-1 mark and 4.50 ERA in two efforts at this ballpark.

Cincinnati continues to amaze the world of baseball in going 13-3 without the services of All-Star first baseman Joey Votto, as the club sits a season-high 22 games above .500 coming into today’s action.  The Reds have been getting tremendous offensive production from outfielder Ryan Ludwick, who is hitting .388 with six home runs and 20 RBIs in his last 49 at-bats.  Cincinnati is 16-4 against a team with a losing record in the second half of the season, with the “under” going 10-8 in that situation.

Reds starting pitcher Johnny Cueto (13-5, 2.39 ERA) has won his last four starts, including a 9-7 road victory over the Colorado Rockies, giving up five runs (four earned) and 10 hits over six frames.  The right-hander is 7-1 with a 1.94 ERA in nine home outings, surrendering just two home runs in 60.1 combined innings.  In 10 daytime outings this year, Cueto has garnered a perfect 8-0 record and 1.36 ERA, with opposing hitters batting just .231 against him.  He came away with a 4-2 road victory over the Padres on July 8, giving up two runs and seven hits over 5.2 innings.

Sports bettors will likely back the Padres due to their 8-2 record in game four of a series, while the Reds are just 6-6 when playing on Thursday.

Pick: San Diego Padres +173

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